2020 Keynote Speakers

Dan Smith | Vice President of Transmission System Operations, Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)

Modernizing the Grid in the Age of Google, Apple, and Amazon

February 6, 2020, 9:00am-9:40am, MSC 2400


Dan joined the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) in September 2019 as the Vice President of Transmission System Operations where he leads the Operations, SCADA EMS, and System Control teams for the 2nd largest transmission company in Texas. Prior to joining LCRA, Dan was the Vice President of Electric Service Delivery with Austin Energy responsible for leading the Transmission & Distribution business unit. Other prior roles at Austin Energy included the Director of Smart Grid & System Operations, the Director of Transmission & Substation, and the Engineering Manager of Substation and Relay Engineering. Prior to joining Austin Energy, Dan worked for Advanced Micro Devices in Austin, Texas and Dresden, Germany leading Site Electrical & Mechanical Engineering. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, has completed a number of graduate and post graduate courses, is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas, a Member of IEEE, and has presented and authored numerous papers at technical conferences and educational venues. Dan is passionate about company transformation that starts and is rooted in safety.


Woody Rickerson | Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)

Challenges of an Evolving Grid

February 6, 2020, 12:00pm-1:15pm, MSC 2400


As Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations, Woody Rickerson oversees transmission planning, generator interconnection activities, training and electric grid operations for the ERCOT region.

Mr. Rickerson brings a considerable amount of electric industry experience to his position, including more than 19 years at ERCOT in various roles.  A licensed professional engineer, Mr. Rickerson has worked for utilities in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. He has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University and a master’s degree in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado.

Patrick Chapman | Sr. Director of Inverter Technology, Enphase Energy

Module-Level Power Electronics in the Solar Industry

February 7, 2020, 12:00pm-1:15pm, MSC 2400


Patrick Chapman is Sr. Director of Inverter Technology at Enphase Energy, where he is responsible for next-generation inverter product concepts and early development.  He has been working full-time in the solar power industry for about 11 years, including as cofounder and CTO of a solar microinverter startup company.  Prior to that, he spent nine years as a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of the Power and Energy Systems group.  He has a Ph.D. from Purdue University and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

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